Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Making Do.

Use it up, wear it out. Make it do or do without.

You may remember that last autumn, my sweet darling husband scored a Maytag Wringer Washer for me for the sum of $15.


What a guy! I'm one lucky chicka.

Not too long ago, our automatic washer had an episode, and I had to finish some already-started laundry with the wringer washer. The only real problem I've had with it is that the rollers are crumbly. That wouldn't be a problem if I could get replacement rollers somewhere, but so far I have not been able to find a supplier. (If you know of any place, anywhere, that sells replacement rollers for wringer washers, please please please leave a comment!)


I really did not want little bits of crumbly rubber on our clothes. I'm happy to say that I did come up with a solution. It's probably not permanent, but...


...once again, duct tape saves the day!

My friend Helen over at Prairie Homemaker is so encouraging when one of us finds a way to make do. I want to encourage you, too. What do you to keep things going when they want to quit? How to you fix something when you can't get parts? How do you use what you have on hand instead of buying more stuff?

This is the perfect lead-in to the duck enclosure, which is all materials we had on hand. (Warning: It is evident with just one glace that the duck enclosure was made entirely of materials we had on hand!) I will do my best to take some photos and get that posted soon. Well, just as soon as I get the last bits of chicken wire in place. It's going to be...unique!


Anonymous said...


Could your husband dismantle the wringer and maybe you can get them recovered in some kind of oil cloth or something. I know that duct tape will work for a while, but eventually the ends might start to frey (sp?) and then you might get glue on your clothes. Just a thought. Duck tape is such a life saver. My dd makes wallets out of the stuff and sells them to her friends. LOL! Good luck!

LivingOurWay said...

The biggest thing we use to make do around our house is JB Weld. We have discovered that it will hold anything together. My husband glued his car engine together with it 7 years ago and it is still going strong. Since then we've also used it to fix dining room chairs among other things.

tenthingsfarm said...

Actually, I can get the rollers off, and one idea I've gotten from online is to cover them with bicycle inner tubes. I think it would be about like putting petite pantyhose on an elephant, but I may give it a try if push comes to shove.

Laura, we use a bit of JB Weld around here too! Once in a blue moon we have something it won't hold together (like the TP holder that has the little extension sides for 'mega roll' toilet paper), but it sure does fix a lot of things! I think a basic 'make it do' tool box is duct tape, wire coat hangers, JB Weld and WD-40, hee hee.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for to send you the Daughters of Blessings series.
In the second book there is a salesman who is selling a revolutionary machine that will free women from backbraking work on laundry day.It is a machine with paddles in a tub to swish the clothes around and amazine rollers which squeeze out the water! No more blisters!!!!!
Love and God bless,

GrammyGoo said...

Duck Tape and Chaulking 2 of my hubbies favorite "Fix-it's" . Love the wringer washer.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

"What do you to keep things going when they want to quit? How to you fix something when you can't get parts?"

I love that you answered your own questions with the best answer: duct tape!

I beleive Lehmann Brothers still sell wringer washers, though not that particuar model; however, perhaps they would know a place for parts. They sell washboards and tubs as well.

tenthingsfarm said...

Helen, I am just finishing book 6 in the Red River series, and enjoying all the 'buzz' about treadle sewing machines! I really love these books!

GG, it seems there are few things that can't be somehow improved with a little caulk, tape or ingenuity!

P.Homemaker - I have checked with Lehmans, but they didn't have any info for Maytags. They do sell washers, hand wringers, tubs, etc. I pretty much have a setup for non-electric, but it's not as fancy as theirs, nor did I spend much for it. It works, though!

Thank you for the suggestion - I'm still trying. :)

Prairie Homemaker said...

One of my fondest memories of my mom is at an old apartment we lived in. It was a duplex and the back yard Mama found an old wringer washer. She made a clothes line in the old grape arbor and we used that washer instead of spending money at the laundromat.
Mama grew up in the real depression and was very make do or wear it out.

Prairie Farmstead Ponderings said...

I love your wringer washer, Laura. I've inherited my grandmother's Maytag wringer ~ not the washer...just the wringer. It runs on a 2 stroke engine or hand crank. I've even got the little metal fuel can and the oil measuring cup to go with it. That's how they knew they had the right fuel to oil ratio.

I'll have to go look ~ I think the rollers on this one are just bare wood. I'm not sure if it came that way, or if Grandma just wore whatever was on them off?!

Hugs to you, Dearie. Your duct tape solution is ingenious.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura,

I'm krm223 on PH. I wanted you to know that I love your posts and how you are so creative in saving money, and making do with what you have. I got a big chuckle out of "I think it would be about like putting petite pantyhose on an elephant, but I may give it a try if push comes to shove."

I read your blog along with Jalene's and Gill's while I am at work.

Lots of love and Hugs in Christ,


Anonymous said...

Wow! That's a very interesting washer now days huh :) Thanks for sharing

Barbara said...

So Cool, I had one just exactly like this when we were newly married, loved it, and it washed so clean and bright, and of course I hung them outside on a clothes line too, Thanks for these memories.

Laura Lane said...

Have you tried Lehmans? They're an on-line company that caters to the Amish and others who like to live off the grid. They might possibly have the part you need or know where you can find it.


What a treasure you have!

Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,


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